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That is to me a God : to me whose curse,
I claim thy saith, and part."-"So swist, so soon, And brand, and mock it is to have been great Our festal cheer untasted, welcome cup And be-oh! Samor, Samor, I was King,
Uncrown'd!”—“Fair Queen, in the pellucid stream King of this spacious, rich, and glorious isle,
My beverage dances; the coarse mountain boor And thou, and such as thou, my regal state
Shares his hard fare with me; the hand that feasts Didst vassal; now, but now an eye may trace The winged wanderers of the air, feasts me." The circuit of my realm, a shepherd's boy
With lips in act of speech apart, the Queen, Count my thin people, like his mountain flock." As to her will her tongue disdainful scorn'd
Allegiance, chain'd in silence stood again. “Oh, Monarch, ill must be atoned by good, Twice she essay'd to speak, twice o'er her shame And to repentant deeds of mightiest fame
Swept his petrific hand, and rosy fire Heaven can upraise the farthest sunken. Power O'er face and neck and forehead Aush'd, till shrunk Fails not the aspirant will. I knew thee once From that strong heat the eye, and down on earth A being of those arduous energies,
Settled its close-fringed orb; with pressure soft Strong aspirations, graspings undefined,
Her blushing fingers his bronzed hand embraced. Tumultuous thirsts and passions, that of man Make Fiend or Angel."_" True, too true, but thou “ Here in this palace is my rule, this land Hast seized the Seraph's air-plumed wings, and I Is mine by my prevailing power: wouldst thou The Demon's vans of darkness. Had all fallen, Of this high seat, this realm be lord ?-Why starts All perisha, one wide ignominy swept
Unwonted colour to thy cheek? why shrinks Princes and Lords and People, I had found
Into its sphere thine eye? Said I this soul, A forlorn comfort in the general wreck;
And what soft beauty glitters in this shape, But in its curst sublimity thy fame
Had it appall'd thee ?”—Eagerly she grasp'd Obtrudes its radiant presence, and makes groan The hand she held, as though from thence to wring This ruin of a Monarch.”—“ Rare it is,
A swift reply, yet gazed upon the earth, Oh King, in Fame's rich galaxy to shine
As wistful 'neath its darkness she might shrink With steadfast blaze unwithering, but to dawn From her own shame. Blank wonder Samor's brow From darkness, scatter off the black eclipse
To living stone congeald—“ This then the close That veils the wither'd lustre, this most rare, To all thy lavish love of Vortigern!" Maketh man's soul an everlasting fire Worthy the God that hung the heavens with light; “My love! he was a King, upon his brow "T is hard for downcast spirit to o'erleap
The beauty of a royal crown, his height Ruin's sad barriers, but Heaven's angels drop Dominion, like a precious mantle, dipt Soft dews beneath his burning feet, his flight In heaven's pure light array'd, and o'er him flung Imp with strong plumes; his coming doth adorn Transcendent grandeur; above all he stood, The earth he moves on; till Remorse abash'd And I by such fund splendours wood and won, Before the orient glories fades and fies."
Took seat upon his eminence; a plant
To spread, and mantle an imperial throne, “Peace! peace! thou canst not see what cold within Not like tame ivy round a ruin creep. Lies like a palsy on the flagging powers,
Or wreathe the tomb of royalty. His pride Makes me a thin and shrinking reed, the sport I wedded, not his shame; bats may not build Of every lazy wind, the shape, the life,
With the light-loving lark. He, he himself The woe, without the faculties of man:
By self-abasement has divorced me, set Shame, Shame.—Oh, turn thy lofty brow away, Distance between us wide ard far as heaven Heavy it hangs o'er me like loosen'd crag
From the black pit of infamy.”—“High Queen, Over the mountain traveller-I endure,
What seest thou in this bleak and batter'd brow, Of all this nation, the curse-wrinkled lips,
These rough scathed limbs, this wan and sunken face, Dut-pointed fingers, ribald jests, coarse scorns. With misery's rugged furrows deeply plough'd Men that have lick'd the dust beneath my feet, To dazzle or delight? Lone outcast I, Worn their tame faces by the mould of mine, Friendless, but daily, nightly by fierce foes Ther, to confront even them.”—Unkingly tears Beset and hunted like a loathsome brute; Choked the full utterance, met his eye the glance Thy nation's mothers vent all hate on me, Of that proud Queen, who, all unmark'd, drank in Link with a scathing curse no name but mine. That passionate discourse, from her contempt, Oh, what wouldst thou and softness with a life Though far below his own, he shrunk, and wrought Like mine so dreary, desperate, dark, and fierce ?" To a brief pride his wan dejected mien. “ Here is my throne, my kingdom in this breast, “Oh, 't is because all hate thee, that I love, My diadem the wealth of light that shines
Because all dread thee, I would mate with thee; From yon fair brow npon me."-Stronger pain Thy miseries, thy dangers deeper plunge Burst in upon the infant pride: forth Aed
My soul in passion, that alone thou walk'st The Monarch, happy could he fly himself.
Smote at hy every arm, yet struck by none, Him follow'd that old Bard. "Tis vain, all vain, That mastery of thy single soul holds down (Thus spake the high Avenger.) “ Beauteous Queen, The Saxon's mounting empire, clips its wings
Rapacious and wide-shadowing, that thy fame Of danger and rude menace. What I did,
Enough, 't was base, 't was criminal, 't was false.
Oh Chief! when we would compass wild desires, To that thy airy chariot would aspire,
Words alien to the heart start up, yet seem And dazzle by thy side, and daunt the world.”— Most strong persuasion; of all serpents, scorn
Stings to worse frenzy, worst a woman's soul. Loose and unrighteous to thy lawful Lord,
Forget, all, all forget, but one soft word, Yet wouldst Thou poison with adulterous shame
And that I charge thee, by thy rescued life, Its spotless lustre, its pure white defile,
Forget not.”—“ Lady, were I rich in love, And clog with guilt its vaunted wheels.” — “Guilt!
yon full Sun in light, I could not spare
A beam upon a Saxon. Now, but now
The fountains of my heart are dry, the stock
Is wither'd to the root; hard, doleful, dead, The motions of my will—but we-shrink we ?
My breast's impassive iron srauers off The lofty are their own high law; dull codes,
All melting blandishments, all soft delights, Cold customs, trammel but the base ; our sins
As the waved banner the thin morning dews. Shall be the wanderings of the meteor fire,
With one harsh discord to consumate all; More wonder'd than the regular calm stars :
Thou art thy Futher's daughter."-She arose Our acting shall ennoble, what tame tongues
In miserable calmness resolute. Falter at even in word; opinions, hues
She took his hand, she led him forth, beneath Shall at our haughty bidding shift and change,
The murky scowling of those Saxons stern, And what we do, shall therefore be call'd great.
Whose angry wonder scarce herself controllid: Yes, yes, I feel thy shrinking hand, I see
Gave one fond lingering pressure, and but one, White-lipp'd abhorrence quivering in thy mien
Then watch'd him through the city, up the vale, As at some loathsome viper. Woe, oh woe
If gazing with such emptiness of eye
Were watching, which his distance seem'd to freeze
Gradual to bollower wanness; down her arms
Hung, only that she stood and faintly breathed,
Pulse, motion, sense, life, all seem'd fled with him.
Sudden above her, the mild air 'gan wast
Wild fiery sounds, like those of battle morn
Impatient answers. On the palace top
Aneurin in his bardic glory stood;
The sunlight on his old prophetic brow “Twice have I trusted Saxon faith, and iwice
Flash'd strong, yet dazzled not, his long white locks Beneath my feet the smooth fair ice hath burst
Stream'd back upon his azure robe, like rack
O'er heaven's unclouded blue, bis pale thin hand
With strength of mounting pbrenzy lanch'd abroad
The war-song of Cassivelan : glad sounds
To that tranced queen, for Samor's bastier port
Deliberate grandeur slackend, he look'd back,
Proud gratitude for that wild flatlery.-—“All,
All in one wide conspiracy (so spake
Find voices eloquent, the streams, the stones,
To lofty music burst of thy renown.” Crept o'er the banners broad, and pendent shields.
Slowly retired the Queen; she callid around She look'd on Samor, all his pride was hers, Her slaves, her handmaids; arrogant their looks She look'd on Samor, all that pride was quench'd Seem'd to confront her, eyes aye wont to shrink In exquisite mild transport; at his feet
Before her gaze, now seem'd to pry and pierce
Even in her plenitude of scorn. They stood
Mockeries their tremors; solitude she sought, “A curse upon me, that my wilful heart
Yet solitude found none, things senseless took Gainst head so brave, so noble, dream'd of wrath, Stern cognizance of all her acts, her thoughts !
Eyes hung the empty walls, weak laughing sounds Her softness like the nightingale's first notes
After rude evening, o'er his passion steals :
He cast not off Rowena's hand, it fell Shook scorns upon herself. Dim evening falls As from a dead man's grasp; slow rose his head O'er earth and sky, slow fits the shadowy night. From its fair zone, as from a bank of snow “Slaves there!" she cried, “ my steed! alone 1 ride." The winter traveller, by its smoothness guiled She, wont to find her every look a law,
Almost to deathful sleep; he dares not now Now almost wonders all so swifi obey.
Welcome that heavenly visitant, nor could,
Nor would he her mild rescue bid depart. The moon's white sickle tenderly array'd
Nor dares he now with chill abhorrence shrink With dubious lustre the grey heavens; scarce tinged From that impassion 'd Lady; on his lips The dew-webs, whiten'd not the yellow crown Clung wretched, pale, beseechingness, that framed Of the unwaving forest; ignorant,
Nor word nor sound. But time for thought in her Or with feign'd ignorance 'guiling even herself, Gave time for shame, for struggling pride gave time. Long upon Samor's track the Lady rides.
“ Thou deem'st me loose, wild, wanton, deem'st me
come "T is not a stag that couches on the heath;
To lure thee with light sweets of lawless love, Hope on her dim cheek brightens, from her steed Hunting mine own shame through the midnight Soft she dismounts, she ruffles not the fern,
woods. The moss springs printless up beneath her feet, Oh false, all false.—How thee shall I persuade, So light her gliding to that slumbering man.
Ay me! that scarce persuade myself, 'l was chance, She knows him, she starts back.—“Oh, came I here, 'T was fate, 't was ministration of bad spirits, Lost and abased, him, only him to seek,
That led me thoughtless, hopeless — did I say That answers mine immodest heart with flight, Hopeless? yet scorn not thou, the lightest won With scorn, perchance with hate! yet wonderous he, Are oft best won. Oh why, ere now so mild, Wonderous in rest as action! Sleep'st thou calm, So gentle, why so stern, so ghastly still ?" While numberless as these brown heath-spikes rise Thou lovest my pride, my honour, my renown; Legions of spears around thee, for thy blood
Now, Queen Rowena, mayst thou do a deed Leagued in one furious thirst? Unwise and rash! Shall make my pride thine own, make thee my fount To-night thou slumber'st not unguarded, sleep; Of honour, all my noontide of renown And if Rowena mingle with thy dreams,
On thee in all its golden brilliance shine; Sleep calmly, breathingly as now! He wakes And if henceforth man's voice cry out, High deeds Oh, hateful even in slumber that harsh name Hath Samor's arm achieved, thy heart shall bound Grales on his sense."--His eyes unfold, nor start, And thy lips answer, · Mine! all mine!' and I So soft the vision; wonder's self is calm,
Will bless thee, thank thee, praise thee for that truth." And quaffs it in with mild unshrinking gaze. Her long bright hair, like threads of silver streak O'er proud Rowena past his solemn voice The moonlight, her fair forehead's marble arch Tremendously delightful, as the sound Wild joyous fearfulness, ecstatic doubt,
Of thunder over Jove's bolt-minist'ring bird, Bathe with the deviness of melting snow,
That sternly rocks on th' agitated air. Ere yet unblanch'd its stainless glitter pure.
“ Speak, speak; 't is hours, 't is years until 't is done." Oh, soft and slow that melody of mien
Return'd one brief, one powersul word—" Depart." Steals o'er the slumberer, ere the reason woke, She struggled yet to wear the losiy light The sense was drunken, one hand folded hers That flush'd her brow; she struggled, and she fell That answer'd not its pressure, nor withdrew, Her while arms round his neck. Light as the breeze Tremulous, yet motionless : his rising head
Pass'd over his her cheek. Then back
She started, seized her courser's rein; far, far
To solitude, to peace, ah, not to peace!
Was Samor left; large dewy beads distil Nor changing of the starry heavens; but e'er From his full brow, as from the forest leaves By motion of the secret soul, by calm
The sunny icicle: fierce, merciless, Habitual sliding into the soothed heart,
Relentless inquest o'er himself he holds, Distinct from turbulent day and weary eve,
In him a sin in thought is sin in deed. Emeric's own hour, her consecrated spot In his life's wilderness. She comes, she comes, " And I, that on the frantic waxen wings The clouds have dropt her from their silvery folds; Of mine own arrogance, bave deem'd my soul The mild air wafts her, the rank earth impure | Kindred and heritor of that rich bliss Stainless she skims, distrust, doubt, fear, no place That bathes the Angels' radiant wings in strength; Find in the sinless candour of her mien.
| That wander'd o'er this sublunary wild In languid soft security she melts
| As with a chartered scorn, that mir’d with men On Sumor's fever'd soul, she fills his sense,
But in disdainful mastery 10 o'er-rule
Their dim and wavering destinies, that took From gore by treason shed, should dim its gleam; With noble violence admiring earth,
And when I burst my iron foils, and won O'er me hath passion wound her silken nets; My dangerous safety, how indignant joy And that soft Dalila, lascivious sin,
Stood bathing thy stern brow. Brave Anglian, thot, Shorn my full honours. Now, who clothed my steps But thou, of German race, to faint sloth chill'st With darkness, dread, and danger, hung my arms My sword's quick wrath."_" What, Samor out of love With lightning, kept at bay the envious death With strife, with music of conflicting steel ? That feasts upon the famous of mankind;
Hath Abisa's pale blood so quench'd his fire? God, God abandons me. So farewell pride, Were 't not I now could force my glorious will,' And with pride farewell strength, the burning hope, Yea, I could sue thee, Briton, for the joy. Glad agonies, brave bliss of holy war,
Thou wilt not credit, air hath been defiled Transports of trampling on my country's foes, With creeping whispers cold, that I, I shrunk And all the beauty, majesty, renown,
To second in his dangers that brave boy,
And with division spiritless and base,
Hear; Well the famous Anglian won his half Fresh bloomings of my faded joys, ye dreams Of that great conquest!' But I have thee now Lovelier than actual bliss, as heaven than earth, Whole, undivided, now, or man, or more, Emeric abandons me. For how can snow
If aught be mortal in thee, guard that spot, Drop on his foul earth stainless ? how canst thou My steel will search it."-"Samor is not now Visit unsullied thy sad shrine desiled,
As Samor was, but knows not yet to scorn Or beam upon this lust-benighted heart?
Such brave allurements." Forth his anlace flash'd, Oh never felt before, the fear to front
But not as wont, uplooks he to the sky; Mine own past life, the ignoble shame that burns He thinks not now, oh, if I fall, float near, At human sight, and memory that ne'er sleeps ; My Emeric, that no Angel's voice but thine Heart-sickening at its own deformities,
Welcome thy Samor to his opening heaven : A miserable welcome bid I ye;
And if I vanquish, Britain and the Lord Come, dismal comforters, faint-footed guides, Take to your hecatomb one Saxon more. Teach me the hate of life, the dread of death."
But on Argantyr sprung, as wanton boy And Samor wander'd on, not now with scope
To the cool health of summer streamlet pure : Resolved, and steady purpose that absorb'd
Around, above, beneath his winged sword And fix'd on one stern centre all his soul,
Leaps in its fiery joy, red, fierce and far True as the arrow to its mark. Now where, As from a midnight furnace start the sparks. Whither, is all indifferent; he pursues
As brazen statue on proud palace top, The wildering of the forest track, the brook
Shakes off the pelting tempest, so endured Winding its lucid error: two sad days
Samor, but not in patient hope austere And chance hath led him back to Wye's green bank. Of victory; but habitual skill and power
Protracting long the cold indifferent strife ; Sudden before him swept in gallant pack,
Till twice that sword that in its downward sweep Fleet hounds, whose keen scent quafr’d the morning Flash'd the white suplight, cloudy rose and dim dews.
With ominous purple: then his nature burst Sole on their track a noble hunteman bow'd
Its languid bonds, not front alone to front; O'er his steed's high-curved neck. But when he saw But soul to soul the riot of the fight Samor, that scarce his coming mark'd or heard They mingle, like to giddy chariot wheels He vaulted from his uncheck'd steed so fleet, The whirling of their swords, as fierce the din The courser seem'd to feel it not, but on
Of buckler brast, helm riven, and breastplate cloven Went stately bounding down the glen. But he As when the polar wind the ice-field rends. Unslung his bugle horn, his hunting-spear
Such nobleness sublime of hideous fight Cast to the winds, and held his burnish'd sword From llion's towers her floating mantled dames To heaven, as though to paragon its light.
Saw not; nor Thebes, when Capineus call'd down
Jove's thunder, and disdain'd its fall; nor pride “Oh, thunderer Thor, but one bold prayer of mine or later Bards, when mad Orlando met E'er scaled thy heavens, and that, munificent,
On that frail bridge the giant Sarzan king, I thank thee for thy granting. Samor now,
And with him in the boiling flood dash'd down, Now Christian, now baptized in German blood,
Till that fond eagerness, that brave delight Avenger, we are met, and ere we part,
O'erpower'd frail nature, breathless each, and each Earth must be ruddier with some blood of ours."
Careless, yet conscious of deep trenching wounds, “ Noble Argantyr, deem not thou unknown
For admiration paused, for hope, for power Thy name, thy presence, nor forgot, how thou,
To satiate the unwearying strong desire. When Murther quaffd his glut on Ambri plain, Lo, the far hills Argantyr first descried Didst hold thy jealous steel aloft, lest stain
Radiant with spearmen, and he cried, “ Away,
'Tis Hengist with his bloody bands, I know
That ill conceal'd the purple fire within,
But far by Wye’s green marge had Samor fled, Thou art a quarry for the Gods, base lance
Till now the ebbing blood with short quick throb Must ne'er vaunt blood of thine. Argantyr spares
Beat at his heart, bis languid seet were clogg'd But for himself such noble game. Still here!
With the thick forest leaves, the keen air search'd
With a cold thrill his wounds. He falls, scarce sobs; Froward and furious, if thou needst must die, Why so must I; sell Hengist will not spare
“Merciful God, on this in all my life An inch of quivering life on all thy limbs.
The sole, the single day I would not die." And I with such a jealous lust pursue
Then saint, and sickly, an oppressive rest
Seal'd sight and sense. When sleep fell on him, eve A noble conquest o'er thee, I must shield Thy life with mine, for my peculiar fame;
Was gathering fast, but when he woke, morn shot Freely mine own death on the hazard cast
From the grey east her faint pellucid light
His blood was staunch'd, a soothing coolness lay For such a precious stake as slaying thee."
On his mild wounds, the rude arch of the boughs As through dusk twilight stolen, love-breathless Seem'd woven with officious care to veil maid
The bright Sun from his eyelids; the dry leaves For interchange of gentle vows, by noise
Were gather'd round him, like a feathery couch. Startled of envious footstep, chides away
He lay and listen'd, a soft step approach'd Her lingering youth, yet for his lingering loves,
Light as the wren along the unshaking spray, Till her fond force hath driven him from her side ;
And o'er him lean'd a maiden pale, yet blithe So earnest the brave Anglian sued to flight
With tinge of joy, that settled hue.—“Is 't thou, Reluctant Samor; o'er his sword-bilt bow'd,
Gentle Myfanwy ?" Blessings on thy waking; Stood sorrowing for the wounds himself had made,
I long'd to tell thee what sweet dreams have soothed That marr'd his speedier flight. Anon approach'd
My sorrow since we paried ; in my sleep Hengist, encircled by his state of spears,
My parents came, and with them that fond youth, And bright Rowena by his side.
And they smiled on him kindly. Think'st thou God Thy steed along our camp rush'd masterless,
Can have such mercy on sins dark as mine!" Therefore we seek thee, Anglian. How! thou
“God's plenteous mercy on thee for thy care bleedst!
Of me, sweet maiden.”—" Pardon me, oh thou, And strange! thy foeman bites not the red earth.
Heaven pardon me, when first I saw thee cold, What might hath scathless met Argantyr's steel ?"
Helpless, and bleeding. evil thoughts arose
Of my poor Abisa's untimely death." “He gasp'd he here in death, thy soul would dance, The Wanderer!"-"le! he wars but on soft boys,
But deeper meditation Samor's mind
Beset. lle dares not front Argantyr.”—“ False, 't is false !"
Almighty, truly thou ordain'st Burst from Rowena ; "he dares deeds our Gods
Wisdom from baby lips; what moral high Had shrunk from (Hengist's cloudy brow she mark'd). Breathes in this simple maid's light-hearted smiles! Or whence his proud claim to my father's hate ?"
And I, for wisdom samed, for pride of mind, Where hath the Recreant fled! Pursue, pursue !"
Insulted with weak doubts thy infinite,
So delicate, so sinful and so sad,
Springs on her airy plumes of hope to thee.
Oh, were mine guilt of act not thought, the stain Farth and Argantyr had been wed erenow."
Thy fount of living mercy might efface.”
He prest a kiss upon her cheek so pure So spake the Anglian ; leap'd Rowena's heart Even Abisa had granted it. “Farewell, in hope, in shame, in anguish, in delight.
My kind preserver, cherish thou thy hope,
His path is 'mid the Cambrian mountains wild;
The many fountains that well wandering down Rowena, whose proud look with beauteous awe Plinlimmon's huge round side iheir murmurs smooth Smote her beholders, wore her loveliness
Float round him; Idris, that like warrior old As though she gloried in its power; now close His batter'd and fantastic helmet rears, Crowded o'er all her face her mantle's folds, Scattering the elements' wrath, frowns o'er his way